Tutorial: Streaming Lossless Audio

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Tutorial for Lossless Streaming on the Internet Archive *

Before we get started, make careful note: this tutorial presumes some basic user skills such as creating and changing directories (or folders). For sanity’s sake, unless I specify otherwise, all coding you do will be within discrete folders. For example, if you want to convert a file format to another, or convert an entire audio show from one format to another, create a folder specifically for this purpose and wisely name it. It’s a good idea to learn about etree Naming Standards or for the truly ambitious, Extended Naming Standards

Three simple steps to creating your own “feature for streaming the lossless files” (on the Internet Archive):

[b]1. Encoding:

a)[/b] Encode your original .wav format audio show to the FLAC (.flac) file format and to the ogg-FLAC (.oga) file format using one of any number of encoding and/or converting programs, particularly FLAC Frontend for wine or Windows users. Note for FLAC Frontend users: in order to encode to .oga, you must disable replay gain.

If you’re a Linux command line bug, use the following simple command strings (presuming you’ve installed flac on your machine):

To create a file named my.flac from one named my.wav, you would use the following code:


flac -8 my.wav

To create a folderful of .flac files from a folderful of .wav files, use the following code:

flac -8 *.flac

To create a file named my.oga from one named my.wav, you would use the following code (the more experienced will want to have a look at the FLAC pages):


flac --ogg -8 -o my.oga my.wav

– note that the “-8” option gives best compression, whereas “-0” gives fastest compression. I always choose -8, as a few extra seconds spent today means listeners will enjoy the added quality long after I’m gone.

To create a folderful of .oga files from a folderful of .wav files, use the following code:

flac --ogg -8 *.wav

b) By this stage you should have a well-named folder containing equally-well-named .flac files, .oga files, show info text file, ffp.txt file, and md5 checksum files (one for the .flac files and one for the .oga files) ready for uploading.
Upload your show to the Internet Archive’s “Open Source Audio,” using the “Upload” button (at upper center right of page) and following the instructions on using the ftp server, making careful note of the FTP Host address highlighted in bold red – it will begin with the letters “ia” and end with the “org” suffix. I use Filezilla for my FTP-ing, and couldn’t be happier. If you have a reliable ftp client, you should have no problem.

  • Internet Archive’s Live Music Archive is beyond the scope of this tutorial, although LMA bands may find it useful.

2. Setting show as lossless:

At upper left of the details page of your show, hit the “Edit item” link, which will give you the “Metadata editor.” Near the bottom of the Metadata editor, select “Allow only non-lossy derivatives for files in this item.” Hit “Submit,” then wait for update, which takes a few minutes.

[b]3. The m3u file:

a) Using the ogg-FLAC (.oga) download links[/b] on your show’s details page, create an m3u file.

b) Upload the m3u file to the ftp server as follows: hit “Edit item” link on the left of your show’s details page to fetch again the Metadata editor, hit “Item Manager” (at upper center of page), then on the Item Manager page hit “checkout – edit item’s files (non XML).” Upload as outlined in step 1b above, adjusting as logic dictates. Disconnect from server when upload complete.

c) Go back to the Medata editor and use the “Format” drop-down corresponding to the m3u file and choose the
“VBR M3U” option. Hit “Submit” button at bottom of page – again, the update takes a few minutes.

d) Once your details page updates, find the new (VBR M3U) “Stream” link. Use this URL
in your VLC player to listen losslessly to your show – what I like to call “learn before you burn.”

Example show featuring lossless “Stream” link: Blasphemous Creation - Shadows of Evil

Stay tuned for my next update, where I provide the super-new user a short tutorial on creating an m3u file using VLC media player.

Any questions? Here’s the place to post 'em!